Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 21 June 1806

June 21st 1806

Dear Sir

I enclose for your approbation the sketch of a letter to the person intended to fill the duties of Supervisor in Georgia. Two points require by law your approbation vizt. the exercise of commission for the collectors; which is thought necessary; and the transfer of the duties to another officer. This last I have left in blank; but it can be filled conveniently only by two officers, the Marshal or the Commissr. of loans.

Although the duties of Marshal are more analogous to those of Supervisor than the Commissioner of loans, I would, in this instance, recommend the last officer.

I know nothing of Benjamin Wall the Marshal; he has never written a letter or transmitted an account to the Treasury. How he pays the court expenses I do not know, but rather believe that he has collected some public monies for revenue bonds put in suit which he applies in that manner. He cannot certainly be a very regular man of business.

James Alger the Commr. of loans appears from his correspondence & accounts extremely correct.   To this must be added that owing to the loose way in which Mr Matthews conducted the business & to the large arrears of direct tax to be collected, much remains to be done in Georgia. Yet the compensation allowed by law to the officer, (to whose office the duties of Supervisor shall be attached by the President) is only 250 dollars salary & 400 dollars for clerk hire. As the office of Marshal cannot be very lucrative & is rather troublesome, it is to be apprehended that, if this additional burthen with an inadequate compensation be put to it, the officer will resign the office of Marshal rather than to be encumbered with the direct tax. But as the office of Commr. of loans is in Georgia almost a sinecure, there is no danger of resignation, and indeed some justice in giving him this unprofitable job. I find also by the papers that Mr Alger is a collector of State taxes so that this will be in his line—

With respectful attachment Your obedt. Servt.

Albert Gallatin

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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